Monday, October 5, 2009

Egg Sambal Tumis and Fried Sardines

egg sambal tumis 1

For me, one the surprises about living in the Bay Area is the number of Singaporeans who are here. We are lucky to have made a few good friends from Singapore who, of course, share our love of good food. I cook often and enjoy inviting our friends for a meal. Usually, having guests over for a meal require some planning. But when you can make simple home-cooked food for a fellow Singaporean, little planning is necessary. For this meal, I already had eggs in the fridge. Dried chilies are a pantry staple. Then I picked-up some kangkong from the Chinese supermarket and fresh sardines from Whole Foods to complete our menu.

I made sambal belacan kangkong with the sambal belacan from my mum. The sardines were fried and the eggs were boiled for sambal tumis. This is a sambal where dried chili paste is sauteed until it turns into a deep red and then sweetened with sugar. And I love pairing this sambal with fried fish because they go so well together. My mum would serve these dishes with nasi lemak, which is white rice cooked in coconut cream with a pandan leaf or two thrown in. But for that night, we had brown rice with our simple kampung ('village') dishes.

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egg sambal tumis 2

Egg Sambal Tumis
(Sambal Tumis Telur)

6 eggs
1 oz or 20 dried chilies
10 shallots
3 garlic
1-inch shrimp paste (belacan), toasted
2-inch tamarind paste
1½ cup hot water
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Make hard boiled eggs. Cool and peel the shells.

2. De-seed the dried chilies and soak in warm water for half an hour. Pound or grind to a paste. Peel the shallots and garlic, then pound or grind with shrimp paste. Put the tamarind paste into the hot water to make tamarind juice.

3. Heat oil in wok or saucepan to medium heat. Add in the shallot, garlic and shrimp paste blend. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the chili paste and continue frying for 2 minutes. Then add the tamarind juice. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and continue cooking until the mixture turns into a deep red, about 15-20 minutes. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Taste the sambal. If there is too much heat, add more tamarind juice and/or sugar.

4. Switch off the heat and add the eggs.

Fried Sardines (Ikan Tamban Goreng)

6 fresh sardines
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
oil for frying

1. Gut and clean the fish (you can ask your fishmonger to do it). Dry the fish as much as possible. Then rub the sardines with turmeric powder and salt.

2. Heat about ½-inch oil in a wok or pan to high heat. Put in the sardines; in batches if necessary. Lower the heat slight. Fry until the fish turn golden brown, or about 3-4 minutes. Then turn over and fry for another 3 minutes.

3. Remove fish onto paper towel to drain the oil.

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Aleta said...

Everything looks yummy, but can I be honest here.... to SEE the head on the fish, sort of yeah, freaks me a little bit. My sister-in-law cooks fish that way too. VERY good, but I have to request - no fish head please!

Jo said...

Oh yummy! The sambal telur looks so delicious and not forgetting the kangkong and crispy fish as well. Looks as if I could eat the entire fish - it's that crisphy looking!

high over happy said...

Aleta - haha, yes, i notice that the fish served here (in the US) are mostly fillets. we asians love our whole fish. but should we have you over for dinner, it will definitely be without heads :)

Jo - yup, that's how i like my small fish too - fried 'til crispy so we can eat the bones!

Ling said...

Your pictures never fail to make me hungry =)

maybelle's mom said...

OH, I adore sardines. I have bookmarked this one for when I can get my hands on some.

high over happy said...

Ling - well, you did have these dishes for dinner :)

maybelle's mom - i love sardines too!

GiGi said...

Gah! I would love to have enough confidence in my cooking skills to buy & fry sardines! I bet they taste AMAZING!!! I love sardines and typically eat them from the can with olive oil... I gotta build up the courage to fry em just like this! You inspired me

high over happy said...

so happy to meet another sardine lover. please try them fried - i was not big on frying either, but it is not as intimidating as you think and the taste totally makes it worth it.

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